After 18 days “The Ghost Ship” is completely safe.

On the 16th February an abandoned ship was found stranded on the rocks of Ballycotton, a small fisher’s village, near Cork. The wreck name and its story was discovered through some quick investigations.

“The Ghost Ship”, as it is now known around the world, real name is MV Alta and was a 77 metres long Tanzanian merchant ship built in 1976 that disappeared 1 year ago.

In September 2018 while she was travelling from Greece to Haiti, about 2200 south-east of Bermuda, she had a mechanical failure. The MV Alta crew tried to repair the damage but after 20 days in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, they were rescued by the US Coast Guard and forced to abandon their ship.

After this moment the story is not completely clear still today; the US Guard, after the rescue mission of the crew, contacted the ship owner in order to invite then to tow her to shore. The owner said that the ship was towed and hijacked by the Guyana Coast Guard in August 2019, but the truth of this cannot be verified, indeed on the 2nd September a ship of the Royal Navy (the ice patrol HMS) found the MV in the middle of the Atlantic, demonstrated by the images posted by the HMS on their Twitter account.

The MV Alta appears again 18 days ago in Ballycotton, thanks to the storm Danny that hit the North Europe  (16th and 17th February) with winds, which reached 110km/h.  The ship seemed in good condition with just some small areas of her shell covered by the rust, but the general concerns were focused on the risk of oil pollution due to possibility of the full barrels of oil spilling into the sea.

On 18th the ship was inspected and the quantity of oil on board fully investigated. These investigations concluded there was an absence of dangerous particulates and substances and a low volume of fuel in its tanks. The tanks were divided in compartments, some were not accessible directly due to the presence of water, for this reason the plan is to use a pump to reduce the water level and to create a better assessment.

On 4th March the city council has finished the clean up of “The Ghost Ship”; 62 full barrels were moved to an area to be removed by an environmental agent. The ship will remain on the shore for the moment and on her will be put oil absorbent pads and booms in order to catch possible seepage.

Written by Nicolas Spirito